Babli Wake up!’ Mother spoke gently caressing her hair.
‘No Ma! I want to sleep a little more’ – Says Babli
‘Babli it is already 5 A.M. You need to wake up. The Sun will be up soon’ – Mother Said
‘Ma I want to sleep’ Replied Babli
‘Babli we need to go out and finish with our daily chores before light starts spreading and everybody wakes up’
‘Ma I don’t want to go outside. I don’t want to do it in the open. I feel very bad. Moreover the place is not clean and I feel very scared in the dark’ argued Babli
This is the argument which probably happens in every home in the morning which has no toilet.
Defecating in open is a serious concern in almost all the under developed and developing nations. This problem is a concern specifically for India due to the sheer amount of population it has which does not have access to basic sanitation facilities. This results in people defecating in an open place such as fields, jungles or near railway tracks.
There are serious health issues which can arise due to open defecation. The open defecation acts as breeding ground for virus and bacteria. The excreta if not properly disposed can enter the drinking water source which can cause diseases. Water contaminated by these viruses and bacteria can result in Diarrhea which kill hundreds of children each day in India. Equally many children miss school due to water related disease. It can also cause cholera, typhoid, hepatitis, worm infestation and other disorders.
The problems are serious for the female genders too. They have to defecate in the open which impacts their dignity. They also face the threat of sexual violence and molestation. Teenage girls have to leave school when they start menstruating due to lack of toilet and privacy. The pregnant women also get infected with worms due to defecating in open.
Access to basic sanitation facility is a must for human development. During the last couple of years it has gain the attention of large group of people including politicians and media. The Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation has rightly stated that we need more toilets than temples in India. Though this statement was not meant to hurt the sentiments of any section of the society but the attempt was to highlight the importance of sanitation in the present era. The innovative media campaigns by central government where woman asks for a toilet to be made in house as a pre-condition to accept the marriage proposal has raised awareness among the people on the importance of sanitation.
The problem of sanitation cannot be addressed overnight in a country like India. However this can be addressed in stage wise manner:
- Helping people to understand the importance of sanitation and teaching them the alternate ways for proper disposal of excreta such that it does not enters our drinking water e.g. digging of pits and then covering them
- Building of public toilets in the villages, rural and urban areas by the government which can be adopted by the local community for maintaining the same in the future.
- Providing interest free funds to the people to build toilets in home
Putting an end to defecation can help in reducing child deaths and missed school days. Also women, pregnant mothers and girls will be safer.
Lot of awareness is being generated towards this issue by various forums, websites and United Nations as well. This innovative campaign from Domex #ToiletForBabli is an innovative effort to raise the awareness. You can bring about the change in the lives of millions of kids, thereby showing your support for the Domex Initiative. All you need to do is “click” on the “Contribute Tab” on www.domex.in and Domex will contribute Rs.5 on your behalf to eradicate open defecation, thereby helping kids like Babli live a dignified life.
I feel that sanitation and toilet is right of every individual. Domex Toilet Academy run by Domex which aims to build 24000 toilets by 2015 in rural areas to address the issue of open defecation is indeed a commendable step.